Windows Azure DataMarket, the company's online store of various large data sets, has partnered with Colorado-based web mapping software service OnTerra Systems to offer a quick map view of all data in the data store that has a geographic component.Microsoft's
Data marketplaces are hot and likely to get hotter. Place, space, time and streaming are all key characteristics in an increasing number of data sets of interest. OnTerra's map app works in conjunction with Bing Maps. Bing has partnered with OnTerra on a number of mapping projects over the past several years. In January OnTerra released a service called MapSavvy WMS that helps business and security customers to capture web imagery of Bing Maps for a low subscription price.
Earlier this week, ReadWriteWeb's Klint Finley asked whether data-as-a-service could become a key part of Microsoft's future.
One of Forrester analyst James Staten's top ten cloud predictions for 2011 was that a growing number of companies would begin using Windows Azure DataMarket to sell their data. Nine months ago, though, the marketplace had 77 data sets and today that number is only up to 91. Data sets available to subscribers of the service include contributions by Wolfram Alphra, ESRI, the World Bank, InfoChimps and the Microsoft Utility Rate Service.
A handy app for mapping those data sets sounds like a valuable addition to the service and a helpful competitive differentiator in an increasingly crowded market of data marketplaces.